Originally Posted by EricC
As I have been digging up resources for my own projects in the weird and wonderful area of the occult I have found something fun and related to your history lesson.
Authors like Sydney Flowers who wrote, in addition to courses about Personal Magnetism, Hypnosis, Clairvoyance, etc..., titles such as:
The Men Who Advertise (1870),
Secrets of the Mail-Order Trade (1900),
Principles of the Mail Order Business (1901),
Conducting a Mail Order Business (1921),
Mail Order Organization (1922),
and Mail-Order Made Easy (1928)
He's not the only one either. Lots of colorful characters were out there creating, publishing, and selling remotely.
Everything olde is new again.
Yes it is. It is said the best thing that ever happened in Chicago was Mrs. O'Leary's cow and the fire of Oct. 1871. What happened after the fire, almost instantly was an influx of capital America wouldn't see again until Silicon Valley emerged (not counting war machines).
Between 1871 and the next four years, OPPORTUNITY was found in the Windy city. Almost all of the business district was rebuilt, with bricks and stones and fire stations every few blocks and many a New York magnate set up outposts in Chicago.
One of the first businesses, which had state of the art equipment sent there was the PRINTING business, and one can see that for decades after that, including the great Sears and Wards catalogs, Chicago became the printing capital of the world. It had a nearby supply of paper, from Wisconsin and Minn. and many skilled workers.
You will find in your studies it is the reason why, so many of the Occult crowd flocked to Chicago, as one might say, fresh blood. It also became the largest railroad center in the world, as Carl Sandburg pointed out the "hog butcher" of the world and as Upton Sinclair so vividly described in The Jungle.
An occultist in Chicago could easily get back East for a tour, the Midwest and then go West too. You will find many packed theaters during 1880 to 1930 with men and women giving talks on everything like How to Win Friends and Influence People to Mesmerism, Psychic Phenomenon etc.
As a publisher, Flowers had many vehicles come to him, and his book MAIL ORDER MADE EASY, may be the template for thousands of similar titled books since then. By 1928, the Remote Direct Marketing world was well established. I don't know about his later life, but it is purported he made a fortune, whether he kept it or not, I don't know. Almost all of his earlier work on Mail Order came from the hundreds of spin offs of Sears and Wards. It is amazing, work there a few years...one was ready to step out into their own world.
Until Covid-19, there were many people following the template the occultists established well over a 100 years ago.
Thanks for the Flowers report.